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Doc. No. 6.] [Ses. 1863. 

Ordered to oe Printed. 

W. W. Holder), Printer to the State. 


To Hie Honorable, 

The General Assembly of North-Carolina : 

The rapidity and importance of the passing events render 
your frequent assembling both necessary and appropriate. 
Various matters, demand legislative action, and will, I hope, 
receive your speedy consideration. 

By the call of the President for all men under the age of 
forty-five years — beyond which, none were subject to militia 
duty — and the exemption act of your late session the militia 
of the State was virtually absorbed. In lieu thereof you 
created a " Guard for Home Defence," embracing all men 
not subject to conscription from eighteen to fifty years of age. 
Only a N very few persons were exempted, and power was 
given to the Governor to excuse others at his discretion. I 
found that by refusing to exercise this discretion, and by exe- 
cuting the law strictly, I would seriously interfere with many 
of the most vital industrial pursuits of the country ; and yet 
it has appeared evident to me that your intention was only 
to give me, the power to grant exemptions in particular cases 
of necessity or great hardship, and not to excuse whole 
classes of the community. I therefore respectfully recom- 
mend that the list of exemptions be extended to such classes 
as may appear to you to be indispensable. 

Doubts have arisen as to whether it was your intention to 
permit the Guard for Home Defence to be used for the pur- 
pose of arresting deserters from the army, and aiding in the 
execution of the conscript law ; and one of our Judges has 

9 Document No. 1. [Session 

decided that the Executive has not the power to use them lor 
this purpose. I would therefore recommend that the act or- 
ganizing the Guard be amended, so as to invest the Governor 
with the same power over this recent organization as was 
given him over the militia, and so that there may be no 
doubt as to the rightful powers of the Executive. 

In this connection, I also beg leave to remark that I am 
frequently embarrassed by cases ot apparent conflict between 
the Executive and Judicial Departments of the State, from 
which nothing less than an authoritative decision of the Su- 
preme Court can relieve me. As that body sits but once a 
year — time being now often of the greatest moment — it hap- 
pens that many important questions, principally concerning 
the liability of parties to render military service, remain long 
undecided, the public service in consequence suffers, and the 
Executive is at a loss to know what is his duty and the law. 
I recommend, therefore, that, in such special cases, the Gov- 
ernor and Council, or the Chief Justice, upon the request of 
the Governor, be authorized to convene the Supreme Court, 
in extra session, in order to obtain from our highest judicial 
tribunal, a speedy solution of doubtful questions, and to give 
uniformity to the decisions of the Judges. 

I also recommend, gentlemen, most earnestly, the restora- 
tion of the Spring Term of the Superior Courts. After care- 
ful observation for the past twelve months, I am fully con- 
vinced that the good of society positively demands this — that 
the abolition of this term has been productive of evil — and 
that greater evil still will result it it is not restored. "When 
increasing crime, and a growing disregard of law are rife, 
and at a time when the virtuous and the wise are everywhere 
fearful that law and order are in danger of overthrow, that 
we should remove the law further from the people, sounds 
strangely. It should not be ! 

But to restore the courts will involve the necessitity of in- 
creasing the salary of the Judges. It is notoriously so inade- 
quate now, that I presume no one can object to its increase. 
This may be effected by taxing suitors, <fec, without increas- 
ing perceptibly the burthens of the people. 

1863.] Document No. 1. 3 

Your attention is also invited to so much of the legislation 
of Congress as provides for the disposal by sequestration, &c., 
of real estate in North-Carolina. Very serious doubts are 
widely entertained as to the power of Congress to dispose of 
lands lying within the limits qt this State. It need not bo 
denied that the power to declare war confers upon the Con- 
federate government the right of declaring lands held by 
alien enemies to be vacant. It is thought, however, that 
upon Buclivacancylthe right of the State, as original grantor, 
or representative of such grantor, necessarily intervenes — a 
breach of the condition annexed to such grant having oc- 
curred. Yery high authorities consider that it is not compe- 
tent for Congress to control the direction in which land lying 
within North-Carolina shall go, in case a vacancy occur, from 
any cause. The importance of this question cannot well be 
exaggerated. Considerations as to the person in whom is 
vested the ultimate right to the soil are of vital importance 
in every society. It is plain that grave contests between the 
States and the Confederate States will turn upon this point ; 
and that the whole theory of the relations of the two gov- 
ernments. is to be greatly affected by its decision. Whilst 
1 do not suppose that any action on your part can settle di- 
rectly this question, I submit whether some proceedings may 
not be set on foot, by which it shall reach an early solution. 
It is important, upon all accounts, that it shall be settled ; 
and it will tend to the suppression of litigation, and the qui- 
eting of valuable titles, that it be settled early. 

Mr. Wiley, the energetic and faithful Superintendent of 
Common Schools again comes forward, through the Literary 
Board, with an important recommendation for the establish- 
ment of a system of graded schools : one or more in each 
county, of which one-half the expenses are to be defrayed from 
the Literary Fund, the other by the county. The plan is set 
forth in a bill submitted to and approved by the Literary 
Board, and sent in to the Committee on Education. The idea 
meets my hearty approbation ; and in urging it upon your 
favorable notice, I hope you will consider me neither imprae- 

4 Document No. 1. [Session 5 

ticable nor untimely. It is, in fact, a favorable time to act in 
this matter. It is exceedingly important to make every pos- 
sible arrangement for the future [support and comfort of our 
mutilated and disabled soldiers, and their children. By quali- 
fying them for teachers, which cannot be done in schools of 
no higher grade than our Common Schools, many can be 
provided for. In the great plenteousness of money, the 
counties and individuals will now give liberally for such a 
noble object. 

Lastly, it is not immodest for us to claim that North-Caro- 
lina occupies a high position among her sisters in regard to pub- 
lic education ; and by exerting ourselves now, that position may 
be so improved and raised as to enable our educated men and 
industrious publishers to exercise no little influence in the 
formation, in happier times, of Southern sentiment — a means 
of power at once enduring and glorious. By the judicious 
management of the Fund, in consequence of the greatly in- 
creased value of its securities, the Board hopes to so add to 
it, that no decrease in the semi-annual distributions shall 

Some action ia also required on your part to protect the 
Fund against the course now pursued by the holders of drafts 
upon it in the various counties in refusing to present them 
for payment — the intention of course being to demand a dif- 
ferent currency from that which the Treasurer now receives 
and pays out. The duties and responsibilities of the Treas- 
urer of the Fund should also be more fully defined, and set 
forth with greater particularity. 

The very important subject of feeding the poor, whose 
supporters and protectors are in the army, again demands our 
attention. The results of the past year's operations are most 
encouraging, and should serve to give our people confidence 
in the resources of their State. Great anxiety was felt last 
Fall, as you know, on the subject of food, and fears were 
entertained that suffering, if not actual starvation, would be 
witnessed in many quarters. Under the authority conferred 
upon me by your body, I purchased and stored away about 

1S63J 1)oci;mknt No. 1. 5> 

50,000 bushels of corn, 250,000 pounds of bacon, a quantity 
of rice, &c, which I expected would, go but little way in 
supplying the general wants. When the season closed and 
the new crop cafrrre in, however, to my surprise and gratiii- 
cotion, I found that Major Hogg, Commissary of Subsistence, 
had only issued to the County Commissioners about one-third 
of the bacon, less than one-half the corn, and but very little 
of the rice. lie reports still on hand some 70,000 pounds of 
"bacon, having fed a number of negroes engaged on the public 
works, and sold to the army 100,000 pounds, with 20,000 
bushels of corn. I have reason to believe that, from various 
causes, the crops this year have not been so abundant as 
usual, and that the public will be called on to do more than 
last season. But stiU I see no cause for alarm, and my last 
year's experience has encouraged me to believe that all call 
be fed from our own resources by proper prudence and. economy. 
I respectfully recommend a liberal appropriation among the 
several counties, according to population, for this purpose, at 
least double that of last year, and that I be allowed to buy and' 
store away corn, flour and. bacon as heretofore. 

The earnings of the steamer Advance, which has been ? 
employed in running the blockade, may be applied to this 7 
purpose, as they cannot be made to meet our debt abroad. 
They will be amply sufficient without taxing the people a 
dollar. The method of distributing these articles of food, the 
duties of the sub-agents and the proper recipients should be" 
more definitely set forth ; and provision should be made 
for those families of soldiers who, according to present 
arrangements forfeit their claim to assistance by removing 
from one county to another, which is frequently almost 

Reports are submitted herewith of the operations of the' 
Ordnance, Subsistence, and Quartermaster's Departments, 
which I trust you will find satisfactory. The enterprise of 
running the blockade and importing army supplies from 
abroad has proven a most complete success. You will see' 
from the report that large quantities of clothing, leather and 

(» 1)ocument No. 1. [Session 

sltbcsSj lubricating oils, factory findings, sheet-iron and tin< 
arms and ammunition, medicines, dye-stuffs, blankets, cotton- 
bagging and rope, spirits, coffee, &c, have been safely 
brought in, besides considerable freight for the Confederacy. 
Two thousand and ten bales of cotton have been sent to Liv- 
erpool, the proceeds of which are deposited to the credit of the 
State, less the amount of expenses of the vessel. With what 
we have imported and the purchases in our home markets, I 
think I can safely say that the North-Carolina troops will be 
comfortably clothed to January, 1865, should God, in His Prov- 
idence, so long see fit to afflict us with a continuance of the war, 
except as to shoes and blankets. Neither the Ordnance nor 
Quartermaster's Department placed too much reliance on for- 
eign importations, but every effort has been made to stimulate 
home production. Both the quality Fand quantity of arras 
and munitions manufactured have been improved in the past 
twelve months. ^After the fall of Yicksburg cut us off from 
the wool of Texas, every exertion has been made to secure 
for the State the small lots in ihe hands of our farmers, and 
with such success as to keep our mills all running, and here I 
would beg your assistance in the protection and growth of 
sheep, by such enactments as will best tend to promote the 
object. Certainly there is no branch of farming industry of 
greater importance now, nor one to which a more beneficial 
stimulus can be applied by judicious legislation. Our mid- 
land and western hills are admirably adapted to sheep culture, 
and could we once get it started under such auspices as are 
now presented, it would grow into an important element of 
wealth and national strength. I am unable, at present, to 
furnish you with a statement of our indebtedness, purchases, 
&c, in Europe, not having received as yet the necessary in- 
formation from our agent. 

1 herewith send you a communication from a committee 
of the Legislature of Virginia, in relation to the currency. 
This important subject, upon which so greatly depends the 
successful prosecution of the war for our independence, I 
commend to your wisest deliberations. Although the remedy 

1863.] Dootmknt No. 1. 7 

for its great depreciation lies with the Confederate Congress, 
rather than with your bod} r , yet there might be ihuch done 
by the State in aid of the efforts of Congress. I confess ray 
inability to suggest any remedy for redundant paper issues, 
other than to take them up by loans and taxation and by the 
exhibition of the most rigid good faith in regard to their 
redemption. With nations as with individuals, this often 
constitutes capital. The poor should be especially cautious 
to preserve it. 

I have to thank you, gentlemen, for the cordial and con- 
fiding support which I have heretofore received at your 
hands, and to earnestly ask its continuance. Surely no Exec" 
ative can boast of more zealous and warmer co-operation of a 
co-ordinate branch of government than I have experienced 
from your body. I shall need your sustaining arm still more 
in the future. The most dangerous crisis of the war is upon 
us, that crisis which is incident to all revolutions, and which 
is most difficult for public officers to surmount. The novelty, 
confusion and enthusiasm which filled our armies and exhil-. 
arated our people, having long since passed away, the win- 
noning-fan of want and privation and suffering begins to 
separate the particles. The noisy are silent — the faint of heart 
begin to despair, and the disloyal, though few, to grow bold in 
the presence of national ills. The restless and the discon- 
tented strive of course to imbue all others with their own 
gloomy forebodings. The great mass, thank God, continue 
hopeful and earnest. Let us all labor with one accord to 
sustain the nation's hope, and to show that we are worthy of 
independence, by being willing to pay for it the price which 
every people has had to pay since Liberty was known among 
the sons of men — suffering and sacrifice. The hope, which 
animated many of our people, that our enemy was coming 
to the sober second thought, and that many of them were 
favorable to pacific overtures, has been dashed to the ground, 
and the originators of that hope at the North are trampled 
under the feet of reckless and blood-thirsty majorities.—* 
So far from treating with us on the'basisof our independence. 

§j . Document No. 1. [Ses. 1S€3. 

.or even of reconstruction, the. arrogant people of the North 
are tauntingly proclaiming on the hustings that no peace can 
be made with us — no peace talked of till the last rebel has 
Jaid down his arms ! An insulted and outraged people will 
yet make them regret this haughty language which wrongs 
humanity and outrages civilization. The lion which has 
crouched in their path to Southern conquest for near three 
years, is still there, and though driven back a little, he has 
grown more watchful, and will fight more fiercely as he 
approaches his lair. We know at last precisely what we 
►would get by submission, and therein has our enemy done us 
good service — abolition of slavery, confiscation of property 
and territorial vassalage! These are the terms to win. us 
back. Now, when our brothers bleed and mothers and little 
ones cry for bread, we can point them back to the brick-kilns 
of Egypt — thanks to Mr. Seward ! — plainly, and show them 
the beautiful clusters of Eschol, which grow in the land of 
Independence, whither we go to possess them. And we can 
remind them, too, how the pillar of fire and the cloud, the 
vouchsafed guidon of Jehovah, went ever before the hunger- 
ing multitude, leading away, with apparent cruelty, from the 
fullness of servitude. With such a prospect before them, our 
people will, as heretofore, come firmly up to the full measure 
of their duty, if their trusted servants do not fail them ; they 
will not crucify afresh their own sons slain in their behalf, or 
put their gallant shades to open shame, by stopping short of 
full and complete national independence. 

Executive Chamber, November 23d, 1863.